Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and local voting rights attorney Jim Blacksher sent a letter to Pleasant Grove Alabama Mayor Jerry W. Brasseale urging him to alter the City’s electoral method to give voters of color the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. LDF is investigating Pleasant Grove’s method of electing City Council members on behalf of the Alabama NAACP due to significant concerns that it may violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. No Black person has ever been elected to City Council in Pleasant Grove. Furthermore, Pleasant Grove has a well-documented history of racial discrimination in voting, education, employment and housing. This is most evident in a 1987 Supreme Court ruling confirming the City had intentionally racially discriminated when it selectively annexed nearby unincorporated white communities, but not similarly situated Black communities. Although Black residents are presently unrepresented on the City Council, the Council continues to make important decisions that have great impact on the lives of Black residents without their direct involvement. LDF strongly urges the Mayor and the City Council to take immediate action to change Pleasant Grove’s electoral method. We have offered our support in resolving this issue expeditiously and amicably.
Read our full letter here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.